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Jan 8, 2007 07:52 PM

Seasoning disaster with aluminum

I think I've read every post on the web to make sure I was up-to-date on the convetional wisdom on seasoning an aluminum pan.

I had a perfectly good and decently seasoned professional aluminum saute pan that a friendly house guest vigorously washed in soap (thanks!). So, I reseasoned by wiping the cleaned, heated pan with grapeseed oil (high smoke point) and putting upside down in a 350-degree oven for an hour, then letting it cool.

To start using it, I warmed it up and put in a bit of oil like I always do for cooking an ege and it glued itself to the pan.

What did I do wrong. This pan worked better than Teflon before I decided to "fix" it.

Thank you in advance -- but I am well-aware of just about every technique out there. I can't try them all. I am just wondering if it would help if I did this routine several times, or perhaps I needed to let it sit over night, or cool overnight?

Thanks for any help.

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  1. I confess, I've never heard of seasoning an aluminum pan...

    1. I hadn't either until recently when I got a new 10 qt professional weight aluminum dutch oven at the restaurant supply house. Lo and behold! The instructions said: Season it and gave pretty much the same procedure as for a cast iron pan. I figured I had nothing to lose.
      The first time I used it, it was great. No sticking at all. Cleans up like a non-stick pan. I even let food dry in it overnight once after a party and it cleaned in a flash. No discoloration and I just cooked a tomato sauce this weekend.
      Whether it would have been the same without the seasoning is anybody's guess. I'm just a good girl who follows directions.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MakingSense

        OK, great. Thanks. Can you tell what directions they gave you?

      2. I wonder if I should be letting it dry overnight?

        1. From the directions, the seasoning seems to be intended mostly to prevent discoloration:
          Wash and dry. Coat inside w/light cooking oil, heat slowly until quite hot but "before smoke is visible" (whatever that means.) Turn off heat and let cool. Repeat oiling/heating process. Empty pot when cool and clean with cold water.
          The manufacturer gave a lot of instructions about discoloration due to everything from high alkali foods to boiling plain water.

          I have not used any of my aluminum for cooking eggs with the exception of one calphalon skillet that is used for eggs and only eggs. Sacred rule. Hidden when there are house guests. I put a cheap non-stick in plain view so they can do whatever they want. If they screw that one up, it's no loss. I'll throw it away and buy a new $8 one.

          1. I wonder if that is real? Seasoning aluminum! :-/

            I think it is a mistake (or major translational catastrophe) someplace along the line that someone confused the materials with the cast iron counter parts.

            True story happened about 4+ years ago a when a neighbor of mine got a set some soft handled, plain aluminum, pots and pans. They too had instructions to season them and when she did, the handles melted, almost ruining her oven.

            I could not believe that the instructions would state that, but it did. I went over the instructions about a dozen times till it hit. One sentence stated something to the effect _the aluminum pan is made out of a naturally porous material_. I went Bingo! Someone must have did a cut and paste job with cast iron instructions. Plus there was no mention of removing the handles.

            She, somehow settled the matter to her satisfaction after contacting the company.


            1 Reply
            1. re: RShea78

              Nope. No translation problem. Made in America. Eagleware Mfg. Co. Inc., Rancho Dominguez, CA., USA.
              My pan is professional aluminum from the restaurant supply store, NSF aluminum. Terrific pan.
              This was the first time I had ever heard of seasoning aluminum either. My other stuff is discolored but since I seasoned this one, it hasn't discolored.
              Maybe your neighbor had bought some lower quality Made-in-China stuff. I have some Latin American stuff with really soft handles that might not survive really high oven heat.